Westport resident Richard Harris has been named Fairfield County Special Olympics Sports Person of the Year. Harris, a longtime Special Olympics volunteer, will be honored Oct. 18 at SportsNight, the annual awards dinner of the Fairfield County Sports Commission.
Harris has been involved with Special Olympics since 1997, serving as local coordinator for the Westport program. In addition to recruiting and supervising coaches and volunteers, he has built a floundering program into one that consistently provides local, regional and statewide competition to a growing roster of athletes. Harris, who has a daughter in the program, cites the competitive drive and joy of the athletes and their support of each other as the reasons that he loves Special Olympics.
The Special Olympics Award was started in 2007. Its first winner was Trumbull's Nancy Dennin, a volunteer for Special Olympics Connecticut since 1985 who in 1999 was inducted into the Special Olympics Connecticut Hall of Fame as Family of the Year. Gary Ciccone, head of the Greenwich program, won the award in 2008. Mark Kurimai was the 2009 recipient.
Tickets for the sixth annual SportsNight are available for $125 each. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 203-251-8481 or go to the Fairfield County Sports Commission website .
More than 10,000 volunteers, 900 coaches, many corporate and civic organizations, and nearly 9,000 athletes and partners and their families make up Special Olympics Connecticut's winning team. For more information, visit the Special Olympics website .
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